Have you ever sat around and thought "you know, it would be cool if they combined (insert movie here) with (insert another movie here) and just made a crazy badass movie." I'm sure you have thought this and I do it a lot myself, but we know we'll, likely, never have A) the budget or B) the means to pull it off. Now what happens when someone who thinks this way actually get the means to pull it off? Then, my friends, you get Everly.
Now please don't take the above as a negative comment on the film, but nor should you take it as blind praise either. This film is a bit tricky, but if you give me a few more minutes of your time to explain I can expound on the pro's and con's of Everly. As always, I will try an keep it as spoiler free as possible.
Everly is about a woman (Salma Hayek) who has been an indentured sex servant for the last four years of her life to a Yakuza boss named Taiko. When an opening for her to escape the life presents itself, she takes it but soon finds it not as easy as she thought it would be . With her traitorous ways revealed, Taiko plans on ending her life that night. But before she meets her impending death, she needs to make sure her mother and daughter are taken care of and can't be hurt by Taiko.
A lot of people are going to chalk this up as inspired solely by Quentin Tarantino but that is a very inaccurate way of labeling the film. You can see throughout Everly inspiration from Robert Rodriguez's Desperado, Joe Carnahan's Smokin' Aces, Michael Davis' Shoot 'Em Up and just a touch of the Tarantino's Kill Bill sprinkled lightly through out. Does that make it a bad film? No. Good artists borrow, great artists steal and Everly manages to steal some very impressive shots from the aforementioned films, plus some, which culminate in a visually packed, super action film.
The action, special effects and cinematography are excellent and deserve a round of applause for how well everything appears on screen. Steve Gainer does some amazing DP work throughout the film and, visually, the film is perfect. The score is executed rather well, with Bear McCreary at the helm and really sets the tone for each scene, but the soundtrack, at times, is a slight miss (I'll get into later). Salma, playing the title role, shows she is still an actress who can deliver the sexy and asskicking performance that we have been accustomed to since she stepped onto the film making scene, but have been deprived of since 2006's Bandidas.
The praise I have for the film, on a production level, is pretty high , but I do have some problems with the film overall. The major being the story structure. What should be a solid 90 minutes of action is broken up by a few scenes of slow moving dialogue. Dialogue that seems too drawn out or just unnecessary to the task at hand. There are some minor continuity errors, especially when it comes to the elevator and how certain things got on the 6th floor without the use of one. The character of Everly seems to know how to work with weapons, but then sometimes acts as if she didn't just kill 50 people and has no idea what to do. The film is suppose to have a Christmas theme overtone that never really hits the mark and feels weird when Bear's Christmas Carols play over a few of the scenes. To clear that up a bit more, there weren't many visual cues that put you in a "this is Christmas" mindset, which makes those songs a bit off putting. Only one shot felt out of place for the film and had it been another film it might of worked, but Everly getting a glass of water is cut together in an Edgar Wright montage way. It's hard not to think comedy when you see that type of scene because, for me at least, that is what my brain likens it to. It felt like it instantly became a Wright film for 20 seconds.
So the film does have some flaws, but everything has its flaws and despite all of that Joe lynch has managed to put a very respectable entry into the Action genre.Overall I say it is, at the very least, worth a rental today. But if you're like me and a sucker for bloody battle scenes, great cinematography, stuff blowing up and can easily get over the weak spots then it is a strong contender for a Blu-ray purchase.
Rating: 7.0/10.0 Stars